Clergy Corner: Amazing, how sweet life is!

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Susan Beckett

■ By Susan Beckett / Contributed

A friend of mine once sent me a hilarious quote that I absolutely love and still have posted in my office where I can see it every day. It says, “Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, “Oh ‘crud,’ she’s up!” Now minus the bad word, I think that’s just a terrific, in your face quote!
Another person once penned something short and sweet, but no less profound: “Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal.” Wow! That’s a zinger for sure. But, enjoying this amazing God-given life is something that doesn’t often come without its challenges, and Jesus pretty much said that very thing in John 10:10 when He told us, “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.”
It’s interesting that the Greek word Jesus uses to describe Satan as a thief is the word “klepto” – it gives the picture of a pickpocket or burglar who is so artful and skilled at what he does, that before you even realize it, your stuff is gone! Poof! Gone!
Jesus is trying to warn us that Satan is out to literally destroy everything good in our lives. He wants to steal your health, your finances, your family and your joy and purpose in life. If we aren’t on guard, little by little, he will take everything that God has come to bless us with.
Thornton Wilder once said, “Every good and excellent thing stands moment by moment on the razor’s edge of danger and must be fought for.” That could easily be a Bible verse. James 1:17 tells us that “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father…” So all the while darkness is shoplifting our stuff, looting relationships, draining people’s health, and stealing our joy, God our Father is working to bless us with every good thing! What an obvious contrast that so many people miss: good God — bad devil.
I wonder though, how many of us miss this extraordinary ‘life well-lived,’ while waiting for perfect? As I read through my Bible, I don’t find lives of men and women that were easy and devoid of hardship and heartache. Instead I read of people who, through the wisdom and power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, were able to navigate their way through challenging times and still arrive at the end, triumphantly shouting a hardy “VICTORY!”
The famous Jack London once said, “Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.” That was well said! What an insight to life. It’s a lot like learning to dance in the rain or making lemonade from lemons.
But with that said, it really comes down to a matter of choice, doesn’t it? And that’s the mind-blowing thing about God. He didn’t make us robots, people just set on some kind of automation, blindly doing life. He instead made us one-of-a-kind individuals; people choosing to love and acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior, or people totally rejecting Him, living out our days and years willingly deprived of our Maker’s guiding hand. It is totally our choice.
So choose life! Always choose amazing, joy-filled, sweet breathtaking life. As Mark Twain saw it: “Life is short, so break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile.” And, oh yes, be sure to smile a lot – because Jesus loves YOU.

Susan Beckett and her husband Bob pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet. Visit www.dpcitychurch.com for more information.

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